I was sitting on my bed in the sleeping quarters of the Red Nova, recollecting our previous encounter. What have I lead myself into? I am a Twi’lek! The past few years have certainly been unusual for someone like me. As I sat there, meditating, asking myself such questions, my concentration was broken as I heard the sound of the doors opening ajar. Captain Vox walked into the room and stood at the foot of my bed. It seemed like he was waiting for me to greet him like a normal crew-member should, but I stayed sitting on my bed, waiting for him to proceed. He spoke. He told us that the Empress had paid us for our last mission; money which allowed him to fix the Red Nova, and get us a medical droid which was waiting to be activated in the cargo hold of the ship.
I woke the wookie to help me set the droid up. I have started to be fond of the wookie. Being the only other one to know Shyriiwook (aside from Master Ooroo and the Captain), he spent more time with me more than anyone else in our little band. I can’t help but feel that he’s starting to form a sense of companionship with me too. Though I’ve lived the past few years alone, I kind of don’t mind having this wookie along. Especially with his tech-skills, but more-over, his usage of the bowcaster has proven to be handy in numerous occasions.
The wookieand I walk into the cargo hold and saw a deactivated droid standing in one side of the room. The wookierushed up to the droid and started doing things which I couldn’t comprehend. I approached just as the droid got animated and started to speak. After telling it that I am its real master, he asked about the location of Captain Vox, as he is its assigned master. We left the droid to find its own way to Vox, and returned to the cockpit.
Master Ooroo explained the plan as we exited hyperspace. Vox has asked me before, and my opinion hasn’t changed; this ‘peaceful solution’ to the Unification Wars that they so rely on is a plan that would lead us to our deaths. It’s not as if the previous mission hasn’t given us a taste of it already. We are dealing with an opponent that would stop at nothing to reach its goals. And now we go to the home of our enemy, and we expect to walk in and out just like that.
The Padawan tried to find information about the planet, and found enough to give us a rough idea. I approached him and offered my help, which he gladly utilised. I was able to find a bit more information, but nothing too significant. For me, anyway.
We landed on the planet of Ronnika; we were to come with Master Ooroo, while Vox set off to handle some personal business of his. We headed off to Baal’s manor where he welcomed us in a very big hall. It was surreal seeing him now in this situation, whereas the last time we met we were trying to kill each other. He offered us to sit, but I ignored his offer, standing next to the door way. My life before my involvement with this campaign has given me a sense of pride and strength of character. To accept Baal’s hospitality would show that I acknowledge his power, and that I answer to his will. I’d like to believe that I answer to nobody, no one at all.
It seemed like the negotiations weren’t going in our favour. Our presence surely didn’t have any positive effect, and after a while, we were asked to leave and look for Vox.
The wookie and I chose to go to the cantina, but the young Jedi asked me to help him. He was interested in the crystals being mined in this planet. I kept a note of his request as I headed off to the cantina.
As we arrived, I scanned the room for another Twi’lek. There was none but I’ve heard some miners talk about a Twi’lek merchant who sells special crystals in the form of jewellery. I informed the Padawan through the com-link, and as we were about to leave, I couldn’t help but notice the wookie being wary, as if looking for something, or someone. I asked him if there’s something wrong, but he just said to keep on going.
We went to the merchant and I let the Padawan do whatever it was he wanted to do. He was interested in the crystals, but the merchant was wise. I intruded their conversation and spoke to the merchant in Ryl. I told him that we were not interested in money, but if he gave us the location of the mines, we will give him a fresh batch of crystals for a small fee. He agreed.
I could’ve inquired about Cortosis, but the thought never occured to me at the time.
Completely disregarding Master Ooroo’s orders, we hired a 5-man speeder and did the trip to the mines. It took us half the day to get there, and it was already dark when we stumbled upon a hole on the ground. It stretched for no less than 15 metres. The Padawan took out his liquid rope dispenser and we used it to descend into the caverns. The wookie, confident of his natural ability, decided to climb down the rocks without any aides. He fell and was slightly injured, which he shrugged off as we kept on going. We arrived in a spacious area with different tunnel networks leading in to unknown locations.
As we stood there, silently admiring the glowing crystals that illuminated the cave, we heard voices. The Gungan advanced into one of the tunnels to inspect the source, as the rest of us waited back. I had no idea what had happened but the next thing I know, the Gungan was running as quietly as he could, back towards us. Instinctively, I drew out my vibroblade and hid behind a rock, closest to the tunnel that the Gungan was running from. I saw the Padawan do the same in an adjacent rock. I started hearing heavy footsteps, and before anyone else was even aware of it, I could already see 2 giant figures, wielding pole-axes, making their way towards us. I drew out my blaster pistol with my other hand and fired at one of them. I managed to hit it square in the chest, but it just continued to march forward.
We battled with the 2 beasts when a third one emerged. Except this one was not as gigantic as the other 2, although he seemed just as powerful, if not more. Eventually we managed to finish the battle. We checked the 3 slain bodies, but all they had were their weapons and a pendant with strange symbols on it.
We chose to advance in towards the tunnel where the 3 beasts came from. We saw a brightly-lit room. There were 3 waterfalls that produce a stream leading towards the middle of the room, where a large crystal is placed. Surrounding the room were smaller crystals which produced such emanating light. There were 4 of the creatures hacking at the crystals with their pole-axes, mining them. Not wanting another battle to take place, I took my robe off (including the holsters holding my weapons) and advanced towards the creatures. Having no idea what these creatures were, I chose to speak in Ryl, which was only returned with a loud roar as one of the creatures rushed towards me. I ran to the side of the room and shouted for the Gungan to bring me my weapons.
In the middle of battle, a woman wielding 2 swords emerged from one of the other tunnels. She was a Sith, we were all aware of it. But she spoke to the Padawan, and that was when we learned that she was his long-lost sister. As we continued to battle with the creatures, the Padawan talked with the Sith, telling her that “it is not too late”. She fought along-side the creatures, which made the battle shift greatly to their favour. Finding a window of opportunity, she ran towards the crystal in the middle of the room and struck it with her sword. Suddenly, the water itself was glowing and a ghostly figure appeared beside her. The Sith and the Padawan seemed to hear words coming from the translucent figure, but I could only hear the noise of battle. I rushed towards the Sith from across the room, and upon making contact with the glowing water, I felt my wounds heal, and a strong burning passion grew within me. The other creature tried to chase me, but when it touched the glowing water, it seemed to get the opposite effect, and I could see its skin start to burn.
I turned back towards the Sith, just as she reaches out with her hand. I remember being thrown away towards the wall of the cave with an invisible force. The next thing I know, the medical droid was attending to me, the battle was over, and the Sith was nowhere to be found.
The ghost wasn’t in the room either. We took 3 bags of the crystals and started leaving the cave. I really wanted to take a sample of the water, but I had no flask or any container to collect it with. We resurfaced out of the cave and realised how much time has passed since Master Ooroo has sent us off to find Vox. Not feeling like having any need to sleep, I volunteered to drive the speeder as my companions rested for the evening. We gave the merchant half of the crystals and he paid us enough credits to stock up on a huge supply of med-packs.
Being the obvious mediator of our party, it was clear that most of the time the group looks at me as a leader. It’s most likely due to my history of leadership back in Ryloth, but I found that I have a very strong influence to our group’s fate. I’m not completely sure about his perception, however; as on our previous battle, seeing everyone knocked unconscious, I commanded the wookie to fall back, which he completely ignored as he continued to blatantly fire his bowcaster to the enemies. Besides, with these missions, I’m quite sure that the designated leader is the young Padawan.
The wookie and I went to a local night club as the rest went to look for a place to rest. A few hours later, we decided to go to the docks to try to look for Vox. We arrived at a horrifying scene. The Red Nova has been destroyed into a thousand pieces! The maintenance crew, not sure of what to do with what’s rest of the ship showed us a camera footage of the last few moments before our ship was destroyed. We see 4 thugs that none of us recognised, until one of them walked straight towards the camera and said “Your debt with The Exchange has been paid”.
Not knowing what to do next, we decided to go to Baal’s manor to inform Master Ooroo about the ship. We were greeted with 2 guards who told us that Master Ooroo is to be executed for murder. The Padawan tried his best to get us in to see Baal, but to no avail. I advanced from the back of the party and told the guards that I have a personal business with their master. One of the guards went in and a few minutes later informed us that Baal has been waiting for us.
Sharing a look of uncertainty, we all entered the manor as the guards lead us into the main hall.
We see Baal pointing a blaster pistol against the head of a tightly bound and gagged Vox; who he shot in the leg.
He said of being rewarded with some greater power, and as he asked us to sit, he touched a gold pendant with his hand as he reached out with the other. I saw him pointing his arm towards the wookie, but I could sense something disturbing the Padawan. I am not sure of what had conspired, but the next thing I know, Baal was rolling on the floor screaming in pain. I also saw 4 of the cave creatures come from behind Baal.
Thinking quickly, I went under the table and crawled across towards Vox, freed him and offered him my pistol. I heard the doors open, and I saw a few more of the creatures come in, along with the Sith lady from earlier. As I crawled out of the table I drew out my vibroblade, but was quickly knocked unconscious by one of the creatures who had snuck up next to me.
The next thing I know, I was awoken by the sound of the Empress’ voice. The medical droid attended to me and I look around to see all the creatures dead, along with Baal, the Sith and one of the guards. Vox and the Padawan started telling the Empress what had happened, but before I could process their story, I fell unconscious once again.